Does the word “laser” give you an image of a narrow beam of red light cutting through metal? Well, that’s the concept of laser that most of us have. What most of us are not familiar with is laser therapy is being increasingly incorporated into rehabilitation setting. However, in physiotherapy, it is not the “hot laser” that is used. Instead, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or “cold laser” is employed in laser therapy.
Low-level laser therapy is being used by physiotherapists to treat musculoskeletal conditions. LLLT is a non-invasive light source treatment that generates a single wavelength of light.
Laser therapy uses light to penetrate through the skin to enter the tissues. Although laser light can only penetrate a few millimetres, it has a profound effect on tissue healing. Laser therapy works well in pain relief, reduces inflammation, increases blood flow, stimulates wound healing, stimulates tissue regeneration and lessens scarring.
How can laser do what it does? Work so well t to reduce pain, inflammation, etc.? Scientist are puzzled still today as to why and how? But it works!!! Possibly because it is using natural sunlight to treat. Some lasers are better then others so please make sure you educate yourself or rather find out what kind of laser will be used on you.
Wavelengths of laser light between 660 nm and 995 nm can penetrate the skin and soft/hard tissues as well. This light is effective in treating inflammation, soreness and aids in tissue repair.
Physiotherapists resort to laser therapy for the treatment of a multitude of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries or pain. These include tendinopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, shoulder, elbow, hand/wrist pain, low back pain, thoracic pain, neck pain, hip, knee, ankle/foot pain, jaw soreness and trigger points among many others.
There is a plethora of vital effects of LLLT in physiotherapy, and therefore laser therapy is a useful tool to enhance the effectiveness of other treatments such as therapeutic exercises or massage therapy, osteopathy.
The multitude of effects of LLLT includes:
Laser therapy treatment is a non-invasive technique that utilizes intense beams of light of specific wavelengths to help reduce pain associated with your injury or medical condition. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
When It comes to therapeutic application, lasers are often referred to as Cold Lasers, Low-Level Laser Therapy or High Power Laser Therapy. LLLT makes use of red infrared light on areas on injury and wound to repair the soft tissue and reduce pain.
When lights of specific wavelengths are targeted on specific cells of the body, physiological changes take place in that area. This process is known as photobiomodulation. Unlike surgical lasers, therapeutic lasers do not cause any harm or discomfort.
Laser therapy may be used alongside other physio treatment or as a standalone treatment depending on condition and patient’s preference.